Fall 2015
Never rented to a tentant with a voucher before? 
Curious about the inspection process? 
Want some support or guidance? 
MBHP is here to help you.   

Hors d'oeuvres will be served.  Limited free parking is available. 

Register by October 13 to be entered in our door prize drawing: a $100 Home Depot gift card (must be present to win)!

Contact  jennifer.shaw@mbhp.org for more information.

Renting to MBHP clients: A landlord's perspective
Nick Moscaritolo, has been renting to MBHP clients for the past six years. We asked him a few questions about his experience working with MBHP.

Q: Why do you rent to MBHP clients?
A: First, it's the law. As landlords we can't discriminate.
Second, it feels good. If someone's in need of a place to live and everything works out, everybody wins. 

Q: The client clearly wins in securing a safe, affordable place to live. How does the landlord win?
A: Often MBHP does some of the work for me, like a CORI check. I didn't even have to hold an open house for one apartment, MBHP responded so quickly it saved me those steps. Also, with voucher-holders, I feel safe about rental history--if they had problems before, they would have lost their voucher. And MBHP guarantees a portion of the rent and has calculated a rent share that the tenant can afford.

Q: What was it like when you first started working with MBHP's programs?
A: It was confusing at first, there is a lot of paperwork. But MBHP is good to work with, it's relatively easy to figure out who to speak to with questions. Jennifer Shaw holds training events that are very good.

Q: Why do you think some voucher-holders have a hard time finding a place to live?
There's definitely a stigma, some try to steer clear because of it. When I started out I was the same, but I've learned a lot more since then. It's comforting that there's a place like MBHP behind them so that I can go to someone with questions if I need to.
G ot vacancies?
MBHP is working with families with newly-issued Massachusetts Rental Vouchers and Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers who are actively seeking apartments to rent. Prospective tenants are seeking 1-5 bedroom units throughout Metro Boston.

Please contact jennifer.shaw@mbhp.org if you have vacancies that might be available for these prospective tenants, or visit our website to list it using our free online service.
Help end veteran homelessness--rent to a veteran!
Right now there are veterans who have experienced homelessness in Boston, have a VASH voucher, and are looking for an apartment to rent. You can help!

Anyone who has an apartment they would like to rent to a veteran can register the unit online at  http://homesforthebrave.boston.gov.

Have questions about renting to a tenant with a VASH voucher? Read the FAQs or visit our website to learn more. If you have more questions about renting to homeless veterans, contact Ian Gendreau at 617.542.0338, Ext. 273 or at gendreau@homestart.com.
Ask Jennifer

Jennifer Shaw, MBHP's Property Owner Resource Manager, is here to answer your questions!

Dear Jennifer, I have a prospective tenant with an MBHP Section 8 voucher. How do I start the lease up process?

If you have screened the prospective tenant and you're ready to rent to them, follow the steps below to complete the leasing process.
  1. Complete the New Owner Packet, including the Request for Tenancy Approval Form (completed with the tenant), a W-9 Form, and Direct Deposit Enrollment Form, all of which are available on our website. You can submit the packet with proof of ownership and a Letter of Lead Compliance (if required) to the tenant or directly to their MBHP Relocation Representative.
  2. MBHP will contact you to schedule an inspection. We can generally schedule an inspection within 3-5 business days. Complete any repairs that are identified in the inspection report and schedule a re-inspection, if needed.
  3. MBHP determines unit grade and rental amount. The MBHP Market Analyst will determine whether the requested rent is acceptable, or whether negotiation is needed.
  4. Once the unit passes inspection, the MBHP Relocation Representative will schedule an appointment with the tenant to determine the amount of the monthly rent the tenant is responsible for (the "rent share"); the rest of the rent (called "Housing Assistance Payments") will come directly from MBHP. These amounts will be written into the lease (between the owner and the tenant) and the contract (between MBHP and the owner). The owner is not required to attend this appointment.
  5. In most cases, the tenant will bring the Lease and Contract to the owner to sign and return to the MBHP office. Both these documents must be returned for us to release the Housing Assistance Payments.
For more information, read the Section 8 FAQs.
MBHP is here to help you each step of the way. If at any point you have questions or need guidance, don't hesitate to contact me at 627.425.6637 or jennifer.shaw@mbhp.org


Submit your questions to jennifer.shaw@mbhp.org. And don't forget to attend our Property Owner Q&A event on October 15!
Take our Inspection Report Tablet Survey
In 2012, MBHP's inspectors began using handheld tablets to conduct inspections in the field. Using this system has allowed us to dramatically improve our turn-around time for delivering inspection reports and for responding to questions about the reports. The standardized form makes reading the reports easier so that owners can understand the exact repair that may be needed.

Based on the feedback from the responses we've received so far, we have made many improvements:
  • Owners can request to receive their inspection reports via email, cutting down on wait time for receiving this information.
  • Posting important forms and information on our website for easy access.
  • Owners can now contact an inspector directly on their cell phone to ask questions about their inspection reports.
  • Inspectors are now calling owners with updated estimated arrival times to within one hour of the scheduled appointment.
  • MBHP staff can now communicate via text message with inspectors while they are in the field.
We need your feedback to continue improving our system. Please take a few moments to  take the 7-question survey  and tell us about your experience.
How to pass your inspection the first time
If you rent to a tenant with a voucher, you are required to have regular inspections. Passing your housing inspection may be easier than you think!  Having a good relationship with your tenant is critical.  Prior to the inspection, schedule a walk-through with your tenant and ask them to point out any problem areas.

MBHP has compiled a list of the Top 10 Inspection Fails our team sees in the field. Make sure your property has:
  1. Functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  2. Windows that open and shut without being propped up. Locks and screens are also required.
  3. Handrails where there are four or more steps inside and outside the building.
  4. A window or working ventilation fan in the bathroom.
  5. No locks on interior doors that could result in a person being unable to exit a room.
For the full Top 10 list, and for more info on the inspections process, visit the Inspections page on our website
Do you rent to a tenant with an MRVP voucher in the City of Boston? If so, please see our website for important information regarding the Inspectional Services Process for scheduling inspections.
Upcoming workshops

Renew Boston Workshop, Tuesday, October 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Renew Boston offers property owners and landlords special incentives that can save you money by saving energy. Learn how you can qualify for no-cost Home Energy Assessments, huge discounts on insulation, Heating & Cooling Rebates, 0% interest HEAT Loan, and grants for qualified wiring upgrades and asbestos removal.

Property Owner Q&A with MBHP, Thu October 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Come to an evening of free food and open discussion about what it means to rent to MBHP clients.

How to Pass Your Inspection the First Time (3 options to attend!)
Braintree (Thayer Public Library), Tue October 20, 10 a.m.-12 noon
Boston (MBHP office), Wed November 04, 10 a.m.-12 noon
Malden (Malden Housing Authority),  Wed December 2, 10 a.m.-12 noon

Fair Housing for Property Owners, Wed October 28, 6-8 p.m.
Learn about your fair housing responsibilities as a property owner regarding tenant screening and selection, the de-leading process, and day-to-day operations.

Tenant Screening for Property Owners, Wed November 18, 6-8 p.m.
MBHP's Property Owner Resource Manager Jennifer Shaw will discuss how to implement an effective tenant selection process to find a great tenant.

Register online or contact Jennifer Shaw  at jennifer.shaw@mbhp.org or 617.425.6637.
Have you signed up for direct deposit?

Get your payments from MBHP deposited directly into your bank account. Complete the Direct Deposit Enrollment Form and submit it, along with a voided personal check, to: Jennipher Moore, MBHP, 125 Lincoln Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111-2503.

MBHP offers support and resources for property owners

MBHP is successful because of our supporters. Help us continue to offer programs and services to tenants and property owners
 by making a donation to advance our mission of helping families and individuals find and retain a safe, affordable place to live. Donate now

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
125 Lincoln St., 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111-2503
(617) 859-0400 | toll free: (800) 272-0990